Coping under experimental threat: Observable and cognitive correlates of dispositional monitoring and blunting

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Abstract

In order to investigate the relation between dispositional coping style and actual coping behaviour under threat, 53 undergraduate psychology students anticipated a mild stressor (bloody slides) in Part I of the experiment. Observable behaviour turned out to be unrelated to dispositional monitoring and blunting as measured by the Miller Behavioral Style Scale (MBSS; Miller, 1987) and the Threatening Medical Situations Inventory (TMSI; van Zuuren and Hanewald, 1993). However, when cognitions were also taken into account, some significant correlations emerged with the MBSS as well as with the TMSI. In Part II (N = 40), intrusive thinking after exposure to the experimental stressor was related to dispositional coping style. High monitors, as compared with low monitors (moderate monitors excluded) were found to elaborate the stressful experience in a more diffuse and extended way.

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